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Native American Heritage Month 2023

November 01, 2023 - Announcements

Dear AMDA Community,

Since 1990, November has been officially recognized as Native American Heritage Month in the United States as a time to celebrate Native history and culture.

You might not know that our NY campus is situated on land originally inhabited by the Lenape and our L.A. campus resides on land originally inhabited by the Tongva. Land acknowledgements have become a popular way to offer respect for tribes, but many in the Indigenous world have criticized them as performative gestures. With this in mind, AMDA strives to establish a living land acknowledgment, in which we engage in ongoing education about the painful history of forced removal from these territories, and seek to incorporate contributions to the arts from our local tribes. We must always be committed to learning accurate Indigenous history in schools, rejecting harmful stereotypes and understanding the widespread centuries-long effects of colonization.

Native voices and culture have played an integral part in the world we live in. Our community shines brighter when we work together to understand our shared history and set forth on a path that creates a more equitable future. We can celebrate Native American Heritage Month by learning about the nuance of language and terminology, immersing ourselves in art created by Indigenous people, and listening directly to the community we want to honor. We’ve included some resources to get you started:

The Impact of Words and Tips for Using Appropriate Terminology - a language guide from The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian 

Native Land Digital- Use this website to locate the Native nations, territories, and languages connected to the land on which you reside.

Native Cinema Showcase (November 17-14) - an annual showcase which provides a unique forum for engagement with Native filmmakers from Indigenous communities throughout the Western Hemisphere and Arctic. All films are available virtually on demand. 

Native Voices at the Autry - an annual playwright's retreat and festival at the Los Angeles-based Autry Museum by and for Native voices.

Explore The Autry Museum’s online exhibitions highlighting American Indian Art and Activism in California, as well as featured women in the archives. 

The Contemporary Native American Art Collection from the New York State Museum

“Indigenous Culture is Prevention”a lecture with Dr. Melissa Lewis, a citizen of Cherokee Nation

Most importantly, we encourage you to explore, research and celebrate throughout the month of November, and beyond.

In community,

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion